Abu Dhabi Test: Pakistan to start day three on 139-3


ABU DHABI : Pakistan will resume day three of the third and final Test match against New Zealand on 139/3 in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.

Azhar Ali struck a fighting half-century to help Pakistan recover to 139-3 at close on the second day, marking a good recovery from 17-2 after Kiwi pace bowler Trent Boult ripped out openers Imam-ul-Haq and Mohammed Hafeez.

Azhar was unbeaten on 62 at the close having shared a dogged, unbroken fourth-wicket partnership of 54 with Asad Shafiq who will resume on 26.

Pakistan are still 135 runs adrift of New Zealand’s first innings total of 274 in which BJ Watling made a gutsy and vital 77 not out.

The three-match series is tied at 1-1 after New Zealand won the first Test in Abu Dhabi by four runs before Pakistan bounced back with an innings and 16-run win in the second in Dubai.

Azhar remains key for Pakistan if they are to build any kind of first innings lead.

The 33-year-old dropped anchor and found the boundary just four times as he crawled through to his 32nd Test half-century. His 62 not out was carved painstakingly from 169 deliveries as the Pakistan scoring rate struggled to rise above two an over.

The equally-experienced Shafiq hit the same number of fours in his 26 which has so far occupied 85 balls.

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